Xavier Worthy - WR - Texas
Xavier Worthy broke out as a true freshman at Texas, accruing nearly 1,000 yards right out of the gate. Following his freshman phenom year, he had a bit of an up-and-down sophomore and junior season. Yet despite those ups and downs, he’s put together a resume worthy of being selected with a premium pick in the 2024 NFL Draft as an early declare.
Height: 6′ 1″
Weight: 172 lbs
40-yard dash: N/A
3-cone drill: N/A
20-yard shuttle: N/A
Vertical Jump: N/A
Broad Jump: N/A
Bench Press: N/A
*age is at the start of player’s rookie year
Xavier Worthy came in as a top-rated recruit on 247, ranking as the 8th wide receiver in this class per the 247SportsComposite rankings. He was regarded as a smaller receiver standing at 6’1” and 160 lbs as a freshman, but a player with elite speed. He’s shown that he can put on some muscle mass according to the Texas website where he is listed as 172 lbs now. He made an immediate impact at Texas in 2021 during his true freshman season, leading the team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns (62-981-12). He was one of the only highlights in Steve Sarkisian’s first season as Texas’ head coach.
Going into his sophomore season, there was a clear upgrade at quarterback as the team brought in transfer Quinn Ewers, a perfectly rated 100 player per 247Sports. Despite the quarterback upgrade, Worthy took a step back in his development with a sophomore slump where he regressed across the board in receiving stats. Yet he still led the team in all major receiving categories despite struggling with drops a majority of the year as well (10.6% drop rate). He bounced back in his final season with the Longhorns despite the addition of Adonai Mitchell. He finally hit that 1,000-yard mark (in 14 games) on 75 targets, once again leading the team in major receiving categories.
Right off the bat, Worthy has nearly elite on-field speed and already provides a capable deep-threat skill set. Pairing that with his top-tier ball-tracking skills there’s already a clear role that he can succeed at at the next level. But adding to his speed is his ability to control his speed within his routes to stop/start on a dime or deceive DBs into biting on fakes more often. That’s one of the aspects that makes him a very natural separator when running routes as there aren’t too many DBs that can keep up with him.
While his route running isn’t always consistent, there are some real flashes of elite ability thanks to his athletic abilities. He just needs to utilize the nuances of stacking DBs more consistently and develop his bag of tricks at the line of scrimmage. His speed also leads to a lot of yards after the catch when he gets open space in front of him, but don’t expect him to break a lot of tackles to create that space himself. Additionally, Worthy provides a nice amount of versatility as he has the skill set of an outside receiver but also has experience as a slot receiver and even threw for a few touchdowns throughout his collegiate career.
Worthy had a narrative surrounding him that he was prone to drops stemming from his 2022 season where he had a 10.6% drop rate. But he cleaned that up a good amount his junior season with 6.3% and it didn’t pose a problem his freshman year with only a 4.6% drop rate. While not necessarily Worthy’s fault, the offense didn’t always cater to Worthy as he ran a lot of long developing deep routes and was paired with Quinn Ewers who has notably struggled to find a consistent deep ball.
Again, while Worthy displayed flashes of elite separation ability and route running, it has to become more consistent. His release at the line of scrimmage could be choppy with a lot of movement without a lot of separation and he needs to show the shiftiness that he’s capable of consistently in his route running. Additionally, he has a very slight frame as he stands at 6’1” and 172 lbs. That slight frame tends to show itself when he gets out-physicaled against more physical DBs within his route. Additionally, he does have a lot of length to his frame that would’ve been nice to see utilized more often. A slight concern is that he didn’t quite develop statistically following a lights-out freshman campaign.
Pre Draft Analysis
Expected Draft Capital- Late Round 1/Early Round 2
There are a lot of wide receiver-needy teams in the late 1st to early 2nd rounds of this year’s NFL Draft. But one sticks out as a great landing spot for a speedy receiver, and that’s Kansas City. It seems like a cop-out answer ever since they lost Tyreek Hill, but Worthy is already a proven deep threat with the potential and athletic ability to become more than just that siloed type of receiver. And he would be a great compliment to Rashee Rice’s game as Rice came along last season as the Chiefs’ leading wide receiver. That could create a great duo for Patrick Mahomes to utilize for a long time as Travis Kelce will be 34 during next season.
If Worthy makes it to the second round, the Titans could be an interesting landing spot as they look devoid of weapons. Hopkins will be entering next season at 32 years old with one year left on his contract, Treylon Burks has yet to prove he’s a consistent contributor, and no one else has been more than a complimentary piece besides the flashes we’ve seen from Chigoziem Okonkwo. Worthy paired with Will Levis’ arm could be a fun match that could also help Levis continue his development.